FIMI / Conair/FPL #601 #1 / Bu# 53337

Warbird Registry Info.

Early History

United States Navy. TBM-3S. Construction number 3399.
Royal Canadian Navy. AS 3. Flew as #390. BOC: May 29, 1952. SOC: Jan. 10, 1958. Military Service in Canada: Squadrons VS 880 and VS 881, Shearwater, NS.

Skyway Air Services, Langley, BC
#600 CF-IMI 1958

This is the first TBM Avenger to be registered for civilian use in Canada. [Don Henry]

Aerial Spray Program – NB
1958 – Converted to tanker, Victoria, BC, 1958. Firebombing as part of a fleet of 6 Wheeler and 6 Skyway TBMs.

Note: Skyway Avenger FIMJ, which crashed and burned in 1958, was the original #601. The number was released in 1958 and applied to FIMI. [Don Henry]

#601 CF-IMI 1959-1969

Aerial Spray Program – NB
1959 – No operations. 1960-1965, 1967 – No records, but likely flew in NB. 1966 – Pilot Knights. 1968 – Pilot not known.

Probably Skyway TBM #601 FIMI at left, with possibly #605 FIMN (right), 1958.

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Skyway #601 in the 1960s, probably British Columbia. [The National Archive of Transport Travel and Trade]

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Skyway TBM #601, Gander Airport, Newfoundland, July 1968. [Steve Holmes]

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Probably CF-IMI dropping retardent in British Columbia, early 1960s. Posted by Pamela Lee to TBM’s – Mil & Civil on 9 June 2016.

Conair Aviation Ltd., Abbotsford, BC
#601 CF-IMI 1969-1977

Aerial Spray Program – NB, Quebec
1969 – Pilot Owen. 1970, 1971 – Pilot Grunigar. 1972 – Flew in NB and Quebec in 1972, Pilot Langemann. 1973 – Pilot Robb. 1974 – Did not fly in NB. 1975 – Pilot White. 1976, 1977 – Pilot Beecroft. FIMI was one of 8 TBMs sold to Forest Protection Limited in August 1977.

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Conair TBMs #601 (#1) FIMI and #606 (#6) FKCH at Fredericton, 23 May, 1970. [Barrie MacLeod]

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Conair TBMs #609 FKCL, #601 FIMI and #602 FIMK (the Whiskey team), 1970.

Forest Protection Limited, Fredericton, NB
#601 / #1 C-FIMI 1977-1994

1977 – FPL purchased FIMI from Conair Aviation Limited in 1 August 1977 for $27,000.

Aerial Spray Program / Fire Suppression – NB
1978, 1979 – Pilot Koerfgen. Repainted and renumbered to fleet standard after 4 July, 1978. Fire bombing – 1978. Used as a spare for fire bombing – 1979

Aerial Spray Program – NB
1980 – Pilot Hyland. 1981, 1982 – Pilot Hutchings. 1983, 1984 – Pilot Archer.

Inactive/Sold – NB
1985-1994 – Inactive, in storage at FPL. 1994 – Sold to individual in USA.

FIMI FPL 1980

Grumman TBM-3S Avenger, CF-IMI / 601, Aerial Spray Program CF-IMI at Fredericton (YFC / CYFC), Canada – New Brunswick, 1980. [Mike Ody Collection via George Trussell, Air-Britain Photographic Images Collection]

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Stored TBMs for sale, including CF-IMI, at Forest Protection Limited, Fredericton, N.B., 1991. [FPL files]

Post-spray History

Jeff Thomas/Vintage Wings, Seattle, WA, 1994.
Warren Al Pietsch, Minot, ND, Sept. 15, 1994-2000. Registered as N337GA. Delivered from Fredericton to Minot, ND, Nov. 3, 1994.
R.D. “Crash” Williams/GWG Inc., Seattle-Boeing Field, WA, Apr. 27, 2001-2002. Registered as N337GA. Flew as USN/337.
Stephen Searle, Kallangur, Queensland, Australia, Apr. 5, 2006-2007. Registered as VH-VTB.

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